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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Top 10 Richest people in the world 2

#2 Warren Buffett



Age: 75
Fortune: self made
Source: Berkshire Hathaway

Net Worth: 42.0

Country Of Citizenship: United States
Residence: Omaha, Nebraska, United States, North America
Industry: Investments
Marital Status: widowed, 3 children

University of Nebraska Lincoln, Bachelor of Arts / Science
Columbia University, Master of Science

Revered investor took it on the chin over Berkshire Hathaway's General Re insurance unit; SEC threatened civil fraud suit against General Re Chief Joseph Brandon over questionable transaction with American International Group. Also got it for his board seat at Coca-Cola, where his "independence" might be compromised by Berkshire's ownership of Dairy Queen, which buys lots of Coke products. Buffett: "Do they want us to favor Pepsi?" At Berkshire set in place two governance reforms: regular meetings of directors without Buffett present; whistleblower line for employees. Sitting on $43 billion in cash, hoped to make some big acquisitions last year, "but I struck out." Instead, invested in foreign currencies: $21 billion bet against the dollar and in favor of various other currencies. "In no way does our thinking about currencies rest on doubts about America." Newspaper delivery boy filed first 1040 at age 13; claimed $35 deduction for bicycle. Studied under Benjamin Graham at Columbia. Applied value-investing principles to build Berkshire Hathaway. Portfolio includes utilities (MidAmerican Energy Holdings), insurance (Geico, General Re), apparel (Fruit of the Loom), flight services (FlightSafety, NetJets). Also chunks of American Express, Coca-Cola, Gillette, Wells Fargo. Instructs managers to run a business as if it's the only asset the manager's family will own over the next 100 years. Prefers his investors to buy equities only after careful analysis. "If they insist on trying to time their participation in equities, they should try to be fearful when others are greedy and greedy only when others are fearful." Says he underestimated the severity of certain stocks' overvaluation during the tech bubble. "I talked when I should have walked." No matter. Since taking control of Berkshire 40 years ago, has delivered compound annual return of 22%.

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